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Common coins come in several different
denominations based on the relative worth of the
metal from which they are made. The three most
common coins are the gold piece (gp), the silver
piece (sp), and the copper piece (cp).
With one gold piece, a character can buy a bedroll,
50 feet of good rope, or a goat. A skilled (but not
exceptional) artisan can earn one gold piece a day.
The gold piece is the standard unit of measure for
wealth, even if the coin itself is not commonly used.
When merchants discuss deals that involve goods or
services worth hundreds or thousands of gold pieces,
the transactions don’t usually involve the exchange
of individual coins. Rather, the gold piece is a
standard measure of value, and the actual exchange
is in gold bars, letters of credit, or valuable goods.
One gold piece is worth ten silver pieces, the most
prevalent coin among commoners. A silver piece
buys a laborer’s work for half a day, a flask of lamp
oil, or a night’s rest in a poor inn.
One silver piece is worth ten copper pieces, which
are common among laborers and beggars. A single
copper piece buys a candle, a torch, or a piece of
In addition, unusual coins made of other precious
metals sometimes appear in treasure hoards. The
electrum piece (ep) and the platinum piece (pp)
originate from fallen empires and lost kingdoms, and
they sometimes arouse suspicion and skepticism
when used in transactions. An electrum piece is
worth five silver pieces, and a platinum piece is
worth ten gold pieces.
A standard coin weighs about a third of an ounce,
so fifty coins weigh a pound.